The Slow Travel Experts! – Interview with Travel Blogger Frank Thomae!

Howdy all and it’s another Sunday and this time I am extremely excited to present my interview with Frank from ‘The Adventures of BBQBoy & Spanky’, a travel blog I have long followed as Frank and Lissette have travelled and lived in many places from Mexico to Croatia. Presently in their homeland Canada, I caught up with Frank to see how he’s doing, and what his plans are going forward. Enjoy!

  • Hi Frank. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Would you mind starting by telling us who you are and where you’re from, and of course the name of your blog? What do you do when you’re not blogging?

Hi Andy. We’re in Canada right now, back “home” applying for a Spanish non-lucrative residence visa. I say “home” because we’ve travelling the world full-time over the last 6 years and haven’t really had a home as such except for 1 year where we lived in Croatia.

No other hobbies other than travelling and blogging right now.

  • When did you start your blog and why did you decide to start a blog?

We started the blog in 2013, the year before we started travelling full-time. The primary objective was to document our travels.

  • What do you like to write about and why?

Travel and our lives as full-time travellers and expats

  • Who do you see as the audience for your blog?

We have all kinds, but it’s really aimed at people aiming to live the same lifestyle as us. They’re usually 40+ and they’re usually looking to live an alternate lifestyle.

  • What advice would give to someone just starting out blogging?

Do it because you enjoy it, not because you think you’ll make money with it. And write what you want because it’s your blog. Don’t censor yourself and don’t be one of those bloggers who tries to please everyone (and just ends up being boring).

  • What is the hardest thing about running a travel blog?

You go through ups and downs. Sometimes you go through funks where you don’t feel like writing as much. That’s why I say you have to enjoy blogging.

  • How has your world changed due to Covid-19? What restrictions are in place where you are right now?

We were in lockdown in Leon (Spain) for almost 4 months and then came to Montreal to apply for our Spanish Visa. So we’ve essentially been in 2 places over the last 6 months. Covid has very much changed our lifestyle.

They’re very strict here. Everyone’s very careful, masks are mandatory in indoor spaces, all precautions are taken. Canada has done well (so far) in controlling the virus.

  • How do you think travel will change due to the pandemic?

I think even when a vaccine comes out it’ll take a while for things to be as they were. Part of it is the psychological aspect of the virus, the other is the economic impact it’s taken on a lot of people. It might take a few years before we see the travel volumes we saw pre-pandemic (which might be a good thing).

  • What place would you really like to visit and why?

Would love to go back to South Africa one day (because it’s the most beautiful place I’ve seen). Would also like to finally see India.

  • Frank, you’ve been looking to live in Spain. How has 2020 affected this plan and what lies ahead, have you chosen a city and why that place if you have?

Our plan before this year started was to have a base in Spain by the end of 2020. It’s taken a bit longer to get everything done but we’re on course and hope to be back in Spain in mid-October. We haven’t nailed it down to 1 city yet, we have a few places in mind and will decide after a little more exploration.

  • Why did you decide not to live in Canada any more?

6 months of winter and too expensive. Canada is a great country and we had good working lives here. But it’s not a place to retire young.

  • What has it been like spending time back in Canada this year, do you miss it? Why/Why not? And do you plan to spend much time there going forward?

Being back 2 months has just confirmed our thoughts. It’s been nice being back but it no longer feels like home. We’ll never give up our Canadian citizenship and we’re proud to be Canadian…but we prefer living overseas.

  • Please recommend three posts from your blog you’d like people to read (and why!)

Many first time readers come on the blog and don’t know how we travel. It’s very different staying 2 or 3 days somewhere versus being there a month. So I appreciate that people try to understand a different perspective. See this post:  What is Slow Travel? And why it’s how we travel

Reasons why I don’t visit your blog. Everything that bothers me about bloggers today. It’s also a fun read. I’m thinking of doing a sequel.

Flashback to 2008…and thoughts on life changes. A flashback to how we ended up leaving “regular life” to travel full-time and on how, even with the best planning, things don’t go according to plan.

  • Finally, how can people find you on the net and social media? Please include blog address, facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and any other channels you use.

The Blog: The travels of Bbqboy and Spanky. I’m not a big fan of social media so I’d prefer not to send readers there…

  1. Finally (again!) what are you hoping or dreaming for in 2021?

We’re hoping to be settled in Spain in late 2020. We want to do a lot of exploring of Spain as well as Western Europe in 2021.

A HUMONGOUS thanks to Frank, who is really busy right now, for taking the time to answer the questions! Please do check out his extensive and amazing blog, you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for reading today – and May the Journey Never End!

6 thoughts on “The Slow Travel Experts! – Interview with Travel Blogger Frank Thomae!

  1. Thanks for introducing me to another travel blogger! I agree with Frank 100% on blogging for passion and not for money: it’s a mantra that I follow with my blogs, too. 🙂

  2. Andy, I really enjoyed this interview and finding out a bit more about Frank and Lissette. I have followed their blog for years and really enjoy all their posts. Frank is always very honest about the places they visit and there are huge amounts of information for people who would want to follow on their footsteps.

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